“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Three Inches Of Snow – And I'm Okay With That

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's February 21st and winter is finally catching up with us ... well, sort of catching up.

That is to say, we finally got a "real" snowfall; and by "real" I mean something more than an inch.  But with temps in the high 30s, it's not going to stick around very long.

And you know what?  I'm okay with that.  Really okay.  I don't think we've seen a temperature below zero this winter, which is very unusual, and I am definitely okay with that. 

I'm okay with not feeling like I'm freezing my tushy off 95% of the time.  (The 5% when I'm warm is usually only when I'm standing in a hot shower.) 

I'm okay with being comfortable while only wearing two layers of clothing.  (Most winters I'm still cold with three or four layers.) 

I'm okay with the hope that if things keep up this way we may actually see spring before the end of May. 

And that means gardening.  I have big plans for the garden this year: expansion, new beds, a nice neat mowed area around it to keep weeds (and dare I hope, ticks?) out.  My seeds are ordered and my favorite gardening books are sitting on my coffee table along with a notebook and pencil.

I'd be okay with more snow; with as little as we've had this year it could be a dry spring and that is not so good for the garden.  But I would also be very happy if we continued seeing these nice, warm temps.  Yesterday was 42 degrees and sunny.  In February.  If you've ever lived in Minnesota or Wisconsin you know that this is April weather, not February weather.  And I am definitely okay with that.

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An Opportunity Missed

Sunday, February 05, 2012

You've probably heard of or seen the Paris bookshop, Shakespeare and Company, at some point in your life.  It's one of the most famous bookshops in the world, and has been featured in various movies and TV shows like Before Sunset, Julie and Julia (though it actually didn't exist yet at the time the scene in that movie takes place – oops), and Highlander (the TV show).

Look familiar?
I ran across it today in an article on Flavorwire featuring what they consider The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World.  And from the pictures I've seen, it is that.  It doesn't have wide open spaces or soaring ceilings or lavish architecture; its beauty is such as only a lover of books could appreciate – books, books, and more books from floor to ceiling, wall to wall, piled up in stacks on the floor.  It's a beautiful thing.  A Google image search for "Shakespeare and Company Paris" will show you what I mean.

So when I saw it in this article, I started to wonder if we had come anywhere near it when we visited Paris last summer.  If the answer had been that it was so far on the other end of the city that it would have been a major inconvenience to get there, it would have been somewhat of a comfort.

I Google-mapped it (lots of Googling going on today!) and found, as you will see if you click that link, that it is right across the river from Notre Dame Cathedral.  We were at the Notre Dame Cathedral.  That means we were only a short walk away from Shakespeare and Company – 5 minutes, max.  In fact, if we had looked in the right direction we would probably have seen it.

But we didn't.  So close.  And now, here on the other side of an ocean, so very far away.  (sigh)

I told the Geek about it today, and he said, "Maybe next time."  Will there be a next time?  I guess we'll see.